HONDA SAYS IT is prepared to market its previously announced electric motorcycle by 2010.
Honda first revealed its plan to produce an electric cycle in December 2008, when it announced the planned creation of a joint venture company with battery specialist GS Yuasa Corporation.
As previously reported by Dealernews, the new company, Blue Energy Co. Ltd., was established April 1 to manufacture, sell and conduct R&D for high-performance lithium-ion batteries for use in Honda hybrid vehicles. Blue Energy Co. Ltd. is 51 percent owned by GS Yuasa Power Supply Ltd. (a wholly-owned subsidiary of GS Yuasa Corporation) and 49 percent owned by Honda Motor Co. Ltd.
Honda is the second major motorcycle manufacturer to announce the planned creation of an electric cycle. KTM also is working to develop a model for production.
Honda sold 10.114 million motorcycles and ATVs during its business year ended March 31, up 8.5 percent compared to sales of 9,320 million units during the previous year. Growth occurred largely in burgeoning markets such as Brazil and India. The OEM sold 320,000 units to North America during the recently ended 12-month period, down from 453,000 units in the prior year.
—Submitted by Guido Ebert